Dog Health Questions? Ask a Dog Vet for Answers ASAP
I disagree. Desitin is not inert. The zinc oxide can absolutely be toxic, luckily most dogs vomit multiple times after ingesting the cream and detoxify themselves.
Small dogs can sometimes retain enough of the cream to cause zinc toxicity. This can cause hemolytic anemia - the destruction of red blood cells. You should watch your dog's gums (lift her lip) to see if they become pale or yellow. Look at the whites of her eyes also to evaluate for yellowing. These can be indications of hemolysis. Also note if she seems to have difficulty breathing, or strangely red-colored urine.
If you see any of these, she needs to go to the emergency clinic immediately. She may need a transfusion and treatment with something called a chelator - binds zinc in her body to prevent it from doing further damage.
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While Dr. Friend has a valid point your dog would have to have ingested a tremendous amount of zinc oxide for zinc toxicity to occur. Acute zinc toxicity occurs primarily upon the inhalation of gaseous zinc oxide. You should be fine.
Again, I totally disagree. Did you know that the boiling point of Zinc Oxide is 2360 °C? If you are inhaling gaseous zinc oxide, you've got more problems than a potential zinc toxicity.
Zinc toxicity is most commonly seen with ingestion of a penny, nails, or creams like sunblock or diaper cream.
You're right, a lot of zinc needs to be ingested to cause a toxicity. 40% zinc oxide IS a lot of zinc. Think about it.